Murphy: November-ish 1998 to February 20, 2015

murphy cat  3-31-2008 5-34-50 PMMy cat Murphy was my little buddy for the past 16+ years and she passed away a couple days ago. She was such a little fighter and held on to life until I decided she should no longer suffer. While this was another tough couple of weeks due to a negative pregnancy test post embryo transfer, it was even harder knowing I would have to say goodbye to my furry little friend. We’ve been together for so many years, that losing her forced me to reflect on everything I’ve experienced in the time that she’s been by my side. It was heartbreaking to let her go but I’m so thankful it was just me and her in the end and I could be with her to offer her peace in her final breath. It’s amazing the impact that our pets can have on our lives and how they can settle our mood in an instant. I will miss her very much.

Murphy was found on a farm in Davis, CA back in 1998. A friend working on the farm invited me to come meet her and as soon as I picked her up (she fit into the palm of my hands) we became family. Murphy had many years of enjoyment lounging around on the bed, in clean laundry, under blankies, in cat beds and well…just wherever she damn well pleased. She is survived by those she loved. Well, actually no, she is survived by one she loved, many she tolerated, a few she loved to torture and at least one she probably hated. I’m the one she loved. And I loved her. She followed me around everywhere the past 16 years, usually to the bathroom. She loved to walk right into the shower and wait for me to give her water to drink, trickling off my fingers. She loved to have her head scratched, but not much else or there could be hell to pay. She tolerated others that she lived with and was a good housemate to my husband. He was the back up feeder so she had to at least try to be nice. She tolerated my family members and some may have even gotten a chance to pat her on the head once or twice. She enjoyed torturing house-sitters when we went on vacation. She liked to sit on the toilet and scream at my friend to scare him out of the bathroom. Probably because she was waiting for me to show up. Murphy expressed her emotions through purring, meowing, hissing, eye contact (either expressing love, or you better get the hell away from me kind of looks), and peeing on stuff. She was known to hold her ground and even scared a man out of the house in her younger days. He was so scared that he called me at work asking how to get by her in the house (she was blocking a set of stairs, telling him he shall not pass). He was there to install a ceiling light. He was absolutely terrified. I called my friend and we laughed hysterically about it, but sadly, we were not able to help him. Murphy peed on the bed when she was mad or whatever. She ruined two mattresses until I finally figured out there was such a thing as waterproof mattress covers.   She especially liked to pee on the bed when I lived with the guy who is now my ex-husband. She even peed on him in the bed one time. So, obviously I had to listen to her and leave him. The cat is always right.

Murphy hated: getting bopped on the belly by a Kaylee paw (our dog), getting brushed (unless it was on her head), being ignored, getting her nails trimmed, having anyone other than me live in her house.

Murphy loved: Greenies, catnip (fresh and in toys), sunbathing, frolicking in bushes, eating plants, especially fresh flowers like beautiful rose bouquets (sometimes knocking them over and totally not giving a shit about the destruction), white albacore tuna (especially the juice), drinking running water out of sinks and showers, peeing on anything when she was mad, hiding under the Christmas tree, and hissing at the dog. She also loved belly rubs…wait no she didn’t. Yes, maybe she did…well, no, definitely not. Wait yes…ummmm. No, definitely not.

Murphy passed away due to old age and renal failure. She was with her one and only truly loved one in the moment she passed, wrapped in a pink blankie and having her head gently rubbed.

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Finding my sunshine: Chance #4/31

coastal sunshineI haven’t been able to bring myself to write for the past couple of weeks. The outcome of this past embryo transfer left me confused and once again extremely disappointed and sad. My first HCG test result was “5”. In order to be considered a positive pregnancy result, it needed to be over 50. I have not experienced anything other than a clear “not pregnant” result or a number high enough to jump for joy. It is hard enough seeing that I’m not pregnant but in this case, I couldn’t just get the negative result, be sad, deal with it and move on. This was a dark cloud that stuck around for a week. I had to retest two more times to see if the number changed. In the mean time, I worried about possible ectopic pregnancy or who knows what else this number could mean. The first retest stayed the same (even more confused) and the next one finally returned back to a normal “not pregnant” result.   My doctor said that most likely it was a chemical pregnancy where it is possible that the embryo attached and started to develop for 2-3 days, then stopped. I quickly moved into another cycle as soon as the final test result was confirmed as I luckily started a normal period right away. In a matter of 48 hours, medications were ordered, the next cycle was scheduled, I had a baseline ultrasound and bloodwork and my first injection was Friday night. I realized that I’ve been pushing myself to move on to new embryo transfer cycles as quickly as my doctor will allow as I’ve had the looming one year contract hanging over my head. As part of our egg donor process we paid for what is called a “refund plan” which allows us to have as many embryo transfer cycles as needed for a full year until we can have a pregnancy without any additional cost. Due to the logistics in general, plus a pregnancy that lasted about 9 weeks and recovery time from surgery, we have only been able to fit in 3 transfers so far. I have been so worried about the contract ending, meaning we would have to start paying again that it was causing me a considerable amount of extra stress. I talked to my doctor about this and found out there is a process to extend the time on our contract. And suddenly a huge weight was lifted off of me. I feel much better going into this cycle and I decided that if this time does not work, I’ll take a few months off. This will give me time to re-focus on my well-being and find my internal sunshine as it has been covered by many clouds of disappointment and heartbreak for such a long time. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this time is the one.

Photo by CJE

Break a Stirrup

I have a good friend who always comes up with funny comments throughout this baby making process. Early on we started saying “Break a “Stirrup” for good luck prior to egg retrieval or embryo transfer. So today is a break a stirrup kind of day. And every time someone says, I’ll cross my fingers and everything else too for good luck….I say yes me too…I’ll be crossing my fingers but not my legs. Heee, hee. I’m in the waiting room now for our embryo transfer appointment wearing my good luck necklace that has our baby Jaxon’s name engraved on it. Here we go again…

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